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"Did you hear that the local harlot got herself a preacher?!?"
What? A prostitute married a pastor?
Where is the punch line... this must be a joke.
How do you think God's people, the Hebrew Nation, felt and thought about their prophet, their spokesman for God, their priest, their pastor, Hosea marrying the prostitute, Gomer?
As the wedding bells rang and on their honeymoon...
Can you hear the gossip?
Can you see the snickers?
"What happened to the local prostitute? Did she finally meet God? How did she snag a preacher? Does she think she can marry her way into heaven? We have been avoiding her all around town. Now, we need to avoid her by not going to the temple, church."
"What is the matter with our prophet? Did he finally give up on God? Did he give into his temptations?"
His reputation was instantly null and void. Instead of respected, he became rejected and the local "fool."
As much as the locals and everyone who heard about this scandal thought, they were wrong. God spoke to Hosea. But, no one heard Him except Hosea. “Go, marry a prostitute and have children with her." Hosea 1:2 So, he did.
Hosea was one of the most patient, kind, tenderhearted, gracious, loving and misunderstood prophets. Obedient and faithful to the core. But, why would a man such as he marry someone such as she? That is the million dollar question.
Because God wanted to show His message, not just tell it.
Gomer, the married prostitute, still kept going back to her old life, sleeping around.
Hosea kept getting up, searching for her, finding her, picking her up and carrying her home.
Gomer gave into her temptations again and again, got pregnant from another man.
Hosea got up, found her, picked her up and carried her home.
Gomer had two sons and one daughter.
Time after time the Hebrews watched Hosea pick up his wife out of the arms of another and carry her home. Why?
Then God ordered me, “Start all over: Love your wife again, your wife who’s in bed with her latest boyfriend, your cheating wife. Love her the way I,God, love the Israelite people, even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy.” Hosea 3:2 (Msg)
God showed His patient, kind, tenderhearted, gracious love to His people and to all people through the marriage of Hosea and Gomer.
Do you hear God speaking to you? Do you feel and know His personal love for you?
How about the people in your life, do they know this God of Hosea?
The Hebrews intellectually knew this but they did not hear it. Hosea shouted to God's people, "Return, return, return to The Lord. You are the harlot. Return to The Lord who loves you, who wants to forgive you, who wants to pick you up and carry you home."
The people heard what Hosea was saying. The people saw what Hosea was doing. Yet, they kept going about their lives their own way. They took God for granted. They kept giving into their temptations. They did not join in God's mission to seek and save everyone.
Three tragic years later, the Hebrews were conquered by the Assyrians.
Having a tough time being a Hosea?
Have a tough time modeling the love and grace of Jesus?
Feel unappreciated, misunderstood and foolish?
Welcome to being a Hosea type Christian.
These days it is tough to live out God's mission. It is tough to keep praying for a new Fab 5 because the old Fab 5 has ignored you for years. It is tough being labeled a religious freak. It is tough being mocked and ridiculed.
Hosea knew it. He died ignored and rejected.
He was a lot like Jesus.
Jesus died mocked and rejected... until the resurrection!
Let's keep praying for our Fab 5.
Let's keep coming up with creative ways to start spiritual conversations with them.
Let's keep demonstrating Jesus' other worldly patience, kindness, grace and love.
Let's keep inviting them to our Fall Kickoff on Sept 15.
Seeking to be like Hosea together,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.